Cochine‘s sumptuous fragrance creations – for home and for skin – whisk us to exotic Saigon, where this exciting perfume house is based. Close your eyes, breathe the tropical notes – and you’re half-way there…
As a skincare and fragrance expert, Kate Crofton-Atkins was already deeply in tune with her senses. But it wasn’t until she left London (and her job at L’Oréal), upped-sticks and moved to Saigon that her life took on an entirely new direction.
Describing how she was ‘instantly struck by the city’s unique style, elegance and romance,’ Kate became obsessed with the streets abundantly draped with swags of jasmine intoxicating the air, set against the backdrop of so-chic French style architecture. At that moment, so enthralled by the scenes around her, Kate knew she had to set about capturing these in fragrant form… and so Cochine was born.
With the evocative inspiration of Saigon filling her head and leading with the idea that she wanted to create perfumes that brought to life this special place and unique moments shared there, Kate partnered with a fragrance house based in New York to bring the dream into a scented reality. Spending over a year just sourcing the essential oils harvested from plants in Vietnam, Kate and the perfumers spent a further year blending the perfect combinations of these precious ingredients ‘…to reflect Saigon’s diverse flora and distinctive blend of Oriental charm.’ Furthermore, the Cochine products themselves are all made within France and Vietnam to retain the original sensorial inspiration for this perfume house.
Perhaps fittingly, the first fragrance had to be jasmine-based, an olfactory flash-back to the first time Kate breathed in that scent when she first arrived in Saigon. And so, White Jasmine & Gardenia ‘…evokes the lush floral scents that infuse the sun-filled streets and gardens of Saigon. White petals of jasmine, gardenia and peony combine to unfold an enchanting aura that is soft yet elegant.’ Even using the decadent hand cream of the same fragrance is a sensorial delight – the delicious scent of the waxy white flowers making an everyday luxury of a daily routine.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese Rose & Delentii brings to life the freshness of just-cut flowers with the dew still on their petals, combining top notes of rose and bergamot with a breath of violet, rosewood and the rare, scented orchid, delentii, indigenous to Vietnam and which flowers for only two months a year.
For those perfume-lovers wishing to take a fresher turn, Water Hyacinth & Lime Blossom is ‘…reminiscent of lazy afternoons on the banks of the Saigon River,’ while Vanille & Tabac Noir spices things up with nutmeg, cardamom and drily herbaceous basil for a scent that ‘encapsulates the magical allure of Saigon at sunset: that moment of contented reflection before the sun gives way to the stars and the evening unfolds.’
Cochine say: ‘Kate’s passion for fragrance is born out of her belief that by combining beauty, quality and style, daily events can become a pleasure. And this principle is represented in all Cochine products, each one of which is elegantly designed, professionally crafted and perfectly scented to heighten the sense of luxury for you and those about you.’
With a selection of bath, body and home fragranced accessories, integrity and sustainability remain very much the ethos of Cochine, using only the finest essential oils and highest quality ingredients, all of which have been carefully, ethically and sustainably sourced. All packaging is 90% recycled, with the custom-made bottles for the bath and body range using recycleable plastic, and the beautifully diffusive candles are made from a botanical palm wax – a natural alternative to paraffin wax – that has been certified as sustainable and was exclusively developed for Cochine.
True to their ethically sound heart, Cochine don’t stop at the products themselves, but spread the goodwill by supporting sustainable farming projects, such as the Agarwood Project founded by The Rainforest Project, explaining, ‘This Foundation has created a durable and commercially viable solution to the problem of over-harvested aquilaria trees, which are cut down in order to extract agar wood (oudh) oil.’
A hugely valuable essential oil, agarwood was so over-harvested in the last century that it became almost extinct. 15 ago The Rainforest Project began work to grow sustainable aquilaria trees in Vietnam. They established contracts with local farmers to plant seedlings and now over 200,000 seedlings are matured to produce very high-quality, sustainably grown agarwood oil. Cochine is proud to use oil from certified Aquilaria Crassna trees from the Mekong Delta.’
Whichever of the Cochine fragrances you choose, how wonderful to surround yourself in scent from matching hand creams, body care, reed diffusers and candles. And we love their dinky little travel-sized versions of the perfumes in their Discovery Set, too. Perfect for adventurous types –like Kate – who like to set their senses free and be inspired to change their lives…